close your eyes and turn away [story part 47]
April 19, 2013 § 6 Comments
Just like that, we walked forth into the white nothingness that was ahead of us, and we continued walking and we were determined not to stop until we reach whatever it was we were searching.
No more stops, this was the last stretch.
In front of us, sticking out of the snow, was a 2-3 meters tall grey, old battered stone – in the distance. As we continued to approach it, with the sole thought in both of our heads being to seek shelter, the stone continued to grow larger and larger and by the time we got near it, the stone was actually the head of a small opening in the snow, in which nothing but darkness could be seen when looking down. No matter how much snow we threw inside of it, it wouldn’t fill up, no sound would come out of it and no light would reach the bottom.
“We’re going down there” Regina said, and with that she jumped inside.
I had watched one too many documentaries to know what a crevasse was, and know that once inside you’ll never get out, no matter what kind of creature you are. The icy walls would make sure you would meet your doom down there.
Before I even had the chance to finish my thoughts, Regina popped her head outside of the small opening.
I was left with my mouth wide open.
“It goes to the right! Don’t go straight down, we’ll never get out of there. Come, through here.”
She was right. It forked into a number of different caves, made out of crystal-clear blue ice mixed in random spots with solid dark bedrock.
In here there was no snow on the ground. The ground was actually… earth. Pure, stone-frozen earth, but earth. I hadn’t seen dirt for what by now seemed ages. It was strange seeing in there. And the cave, it was marvelous. Scary, un-ending, but marvelous. Shining the lights on the crystal-clear blue ice walls offered nothing short of a spectacle of blue and green light reflected in each and every corner of the cave – or should I say cave system because it seemed to have tunnels leading in all directions that got gradually smaller and smaller until they turned into a mere crack in the wall.
“This is nice and all, but we can’t stay here. We’re very close.” I said while we continued to walk inside one of the tunnels.
“I have a feeling we are already here.” Regina responded. The tunnel continued to narrow and lose all the rock inside, forming into nothing more but an ice tunnel with a dead-end.
“Well then, it seems this was all for nothing. There’s nothing but ice and rocks here.” I said.
“Really? Then what is that?” Regina responded, and stopped.
We were both looking with our eyes wide open, in the dead silence of this time forgotten cave, with nothing but darkness behind us, at something that was not supposed to be there.
A perfectly carved stone block.
This rock was of a different color. Of a different texture. This was not the same bedrock from which the cave was made. This was brought here, by hand, piece by piece.
The stone block was made of several different pieces that fit together almost perfectly, held together by what seemed nothing but ice. It was as if a cracked container was filled with water and held in place until it froze solid. Or maybe did it crack because of the pressure of the ice? Who knows.
Regina took a step forward and I grabbed her hand.
“Regina, no.” I said.
She yanked her hand out of mine and took another step, slowly.
“Why not?” She responded.
“The story. What if it’s more than a story?” I said.
“That’s why we’re here. If the story is true, then one thing and one thing only can be in here.” She said with a determined voice and started jamming the knife sideways under one of stones at the end. With a hard pull of the stone, she yanked it off and shining the light on the ice beneath it, unclear but in the same time perfectly recognizable, was a human-shaped face.
I completely froze.
This was it. We had done it. She was right. Now what?
“Now what?” I asked.
Regina looked at me confused.
“I don’t know.” She answered.
This was not an answer that I got too often for her. Regina answering that she doesn’t know what to do next was rare, because she was used to plan in advance. A lot. Most people don’t plan in advance so much, but she did. She always had that next step, but I guess this was as surprising for her as it was for me.
We stood there in the dark, with a frozen dead body covered by a few centimeters of rock-solid ice, looking at one another.
“Do you want to take him out?” She asked.
“Me? I don’t even want to be here!” I responded quickly.
She started digging around the other stones that was covering the rest of the block. I stood there idly and watched.
“We’re staying here tonight. Go back to the main entrance and light a fire. I’ll be there when I’m done.” Regina said.
I didn’t know what ‘done’ meant but the idea of a cozy small fire didn’t sound bad, so I obliged.